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Ugo A. M. Perego is a Mormon DNA researcher and Mormon Apologist.
| A full transcript of his presentation is not available yet but he has posted some of his words on the FAIR blog.
One of things I read in his blog concerned me. He said "I personally find it a very complex task to identify and clearly discern any non-Asian-like genetic signals in the New World that would have resulted from migrations that took place in the last couple thousands of years."
How does he square this statement with the fact that his Italian mentor Dr. Antonio Torroni and colleagues were able to determine a Near Eastern origin of the Etruscans?
"The origin of the Etruscan people has been a source of major controversy for the past 2,500 years, and several hypotheses have been proposed to explain their language and sophisticated culture, including an Aegean/Anatolian origin."
"These findings support a direct and rather recent genetic input from the Near East–a scenario in agreement with the Lydian origin of Etruscans. Such a genetic contribution has been extensively diluted by admixture, but it appears that there are still locations in Tuscany, such as Murlo, where traces of its arrival are easily detectable."
Dr. Perego would do well to explain why science works in Italy but not in America.
Well folks, here is proof that Mormons read this board. Dr. Perego responded to this post!
I hope he will look at this one and realize how his idea of Paleoindians being animals without souls is sickening.
Has anyone seen this video with Ugo Perego?
What makes this most disturbing to me is how it can be applied to America. We know that the DNA studies done by Dr. Perego and others find the ancestors of American Indians from Asia, long before Adam of 6,000 years ago. But Native Americans don't have a religious idea of 6,000 years ago. To the Indians, ancestors older than that are sacred humans.
Perego talks about biological hominid "human like form" given a second creation when god gave it a spirit.
a creature that has everything but the spirit is not a man
man was a creation just like the animals but then god gave him a spirit
he became man when god gave him the spirit
many hominids then god took one, adam and made him the first of the children of god
The LDS Church has conceded that there were migrations from Asia http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article... and changed the Book of Mormon introduction. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/69... So what are we to think of those in America before the Book of Mormon times? Were they similar to but not quite human? They did not have spirits that were children of God according to Dr. Perego. He suggests that they only became human sometime 6,000 years ago. Or did it happen only after Book of Mormon people began to arrive? Did descendants of Adam mate with the animal creatures that looked like people? Then were those offspring human with souls? I am very troubled by these words from a scientist that I have appreciated until now.
There are many difficulties for scientists in being able to study ancient humans in America. The NAGPRA dispute with Kennewick Man http://www.nps.gov/archeology/kennewi... is the most well known example.
But there are opposite cases where studies were able to be done with friendship. Scientists respected the American Indian beliefs and built partnerships and cooperation in studying a person that died 10,300 years ago.
What impact might words like Dr. Perego's have on future cooperation with research scientists and American Indians? The Book of Mormon is harmful because it condemns the spiritual beliefs and practices of America's first people (Alma 17:15). Teachings of Mormonism contributed to an LDS scientist carrying his own views even further, to dehumanize the sacred ancestors of the living American Indians.
Here is a video with an American Indian perspective on DNA and life, including the idea that God will not bring the world to an end with a Savior and glory in the next life. There is sobering reality in indigenous ideas, from people that worship their ancestors while an LDS scientist speculates if those in the past were even human.
| Dr. Perego stated:
"I still think that the primary reason why DNA cannot be used to test for the presence of Book of Mormon migrants arriving to the Americas in 600BC lays in the fact that it quickly disappeared due to genetic drift and the small size of the migrant group (and this is also the reason why it has not been detected in the few ancient DNA samples recovered and analyzed to date), as well as the obvious reason that we don't have the genetic profile of those arriving with Lehi to the Americas."
First, the premises stated, i.e. that DNA cannot be used to test for the presence of BM migrants because of genetic drift coupled with (a) small size of migrant group, and (b) lack of genetic profile, are themselves based upon assumptions that are inconsistent with either the BM itself, or well-established BM teachings. Genetic drift is only a potential explanation for lack of Middle East DNA in America, when a small migrant group is assumed, AS WELL AS THE FURTHER REQUIREMENT OF (c) A PREDOMINENT EXISTING POPULATION THAT ASSIMILATED THE LEHI GROUP. This further premise, from which the genetic drift argument also relies, is expressly opposite to statements made in the BM regarding the isolation of the Nephites and Jaredites, as has been noted many times. So, what is the basis for rewriting BM history on this point, other than for the convenience of invoking genetic drift as an apologetic fallback?
"We know something about their genealogy and we assume that their DNA would be the most representative DNA from the Middle East."
The question is whether this is a reasonable assumption based upon the geneology, and other statements, made in the book itself. Again, why abandon this logical assumption, except when needed to bootstrap a theory that one is already religiously committed to.
"But this is another straw man assumption. No one would accept the "assumption" of a genetic lineage as evidence in any modern-day legal, paternity, and forensic case. So, why is the fact that we don't know Lehi's genetic profile "proof" that the Book of Mormon people never existed?"
Wrong! If presented with the "facts" of the Book of Mormon claims, including the genetic lineages stated in the BM itself, and collateral facts as also stated in the book, expert testimony from population geneticists would be relevant, and admissible in a hypothetical court case addressing the authenticity of the BM.
Population genetics is a well-established scientific discipline, that is capable of providing scientific facts that are relevant to this issue, even if perhaps not deductively conclusive. That is all that would be needed in a court of law. Once admitted as evidence, I am confident that any jury would conclude, by a rather high preponderance of evidence, that the BM's historical claims were false.
"If anyone wants to embrace genetic evidence for population migrations, he/she must also be willing to consider all the research that is available and the limitations proposed by the different authors, and not pick only what best suit their preconceived notions."
Yes. But the scientific conclusions that one finally draws must be based upon how he or she views the preponderance of the evidence–without self-imposed religious convictions that allow you to conveniently dismiss such preponderance in favor of a more personally appealing view.
The problem is NOT that BM critics refuse to see that low probability religious theories are nontheless possible. It is in the apologists insistence that small probabilities are sufficient to reject scientific consensus for the simple expedience of hope and faith.
"Of course, when it comes to the Book of Mormon and anything that is considered "secular evidence," it is nearly impossible to be completely unbiased and that is why the final test is what the book call for itself (Moroni 10:3-5)."
Being unbiased is a scientific virtue. The fact that it occasionally falls short to some degree, does not create a license to dogmatically embrace a small probability loophole. It does not mean that in the face of a small degree of scientific uncertainty the "final test" must shift to revelation. For a true scientist, even a religious one, revelation should be allowable as a determiner of truth, if at all, only when the probability factor of legitimate scientific theories is somewhat equal and controversial. When a scientist bucks his colleagues, not for purely scientific reasons, or from a consideration of the evidence, but rather for pure faith, he ceases to be a scientist, and should stay out of the debate.
| Ugo Perego was in the New Zealand news in 2001.
Mormons trigger NZ ethical concerns over DNA
Indignous people are reluctant to participate in DNA studies, for good reason.
DNA Gatherers Hit Snag: Tribes Don't Trust Them, 2006
Two years ago Ugo Perego spoke at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. His talk was about DNA, Genealogy and Spiritual Identity. Here are two links for it.
He said that people before 6,000 years ago were not human and did not have souls.
Here are some excerpts -
We believe as a scientist that about 6 million years ago there was a common ancestor to apes and humans and that's of course this very much in contrast if you will to the literal and more orthodox reading of the creation that you would find in the book of Genesis. And so how do you reconcile the fact that there could be hominid people or beings that looks like humans being around or walking around for millions of years where the Bible says that Adam was created 6,000 years ago?
And so in my mind as I read these things I see that there was two creations or two parts in the creation. One was the physical forming of the body of Adam and whoever was with him and there was a spiritual creation in which eventually something from God, a breath of life, was put into this creature, into this human like form.
And this goes very much hand in hand with the ancient Egyptians tradition in which they have anciently come out with a recipe of what constitutes a man. For those of you that are familiar with the Mormon temple endowment you know that there is a question that Elohim asked to Jehovah, is man found on the earth, and he said no, man is not found on the earth. If we could understand what do they mean with the word man, you know maybe we could understand better the concept of how man came to be.
And so using the Egyptian tradition there are nine components that are necessary to make a man the way that we understand it today and one of that is to have a physical body, to have a brain, to have a heart, to have a shadow, to have intelligence, to have a spirit and so on and so forth.
And so would you call somebody that has all of these components like eight out of nine for example, everything but the spirit, would you call that a man, or would that be something similar to but not quite a man?
And so what did Elohim, what did God intend when is man found on the earth. Was something that all eight of the components but missing one thing the breath of life being there and how the creation of the physical parts came to be versus the spiritual part came to be.
And so my interpretation would be that man was a creation of God just like most of the animals, by creation that we received the same material, the dust of the earth as horses or dogs or cats or fishes and then different than all the other creations we became children of God in the moment he decided to put the spirit of man inside those physical bodies that had a different evolutionary path.
Perego's own blog defended his position, calling homo sapiens (modern humans) in the Americas "hominids", as if the Beringia crossing ancestors of America's indigenous people were not homo sapiens.
He also promoted the genographic project in his blog. It is a DNA gathering study that is still opposed by indigenous people. He is currently employed by the Mormon church.
| Perego's two main arguments are the same the apologists have had for a decade.
1) We don't have Lehi's DNA, so no match can be made.
Ugo specifically wrote: "the very idea of locating the genetic signature of Lehi’s family in modern populations constitutes a truly untestable hypothesis since it is not possible to know the nature of their genetic profiles...What were the characteristics of Lehi’s DNA and the DNA of those who went along with him? What haplogroup(s) did they belong to? We will never know."
As Simon Southerton has written, "Blog title: We Don't Need Lehite DNA, We Need non-Asian DNA.
"It is nonsensical to claim that because we don't know what the DNA of Lehi's family looks like we cannot possibly find Lehite DNA today. We know that Lehi and Mulek were members of two different Israelite tribes and that they and their families lived in Jerusalem. It is perfectly reasonable to assume that both the Lehites and Mulekites were Israelites "
In fact, the BoM claims exactly this:
Alma 10:3 "Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh, who was the son of Joseph who was sold into Egypt by the hands of his brethren."
1 Ne:5:14 "Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph; yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob"
Mulek was a descendant of royal blood, as son of King Zedekiah, whose genealogy is given in the Bible.
Hel 8:21 "And now will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yea, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us, and they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem? But behold, this is not all"
Hel 6:10 "Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah"
Mulek's city Zarahemla was the largest of the nephite cities.
Mosiah 25:2 "Now there were not so many of the children of Nephi, or so many of those who were descendants of Nephi, as there were of the people of Zarahemla, who was a descendant of Mulek, and those who came with him into the wilderness."
There shouldn't be any question about DNA if you believe what the BoM says. Apparently, turely and the GAs don't believe their own BoM anymore.
DNA testing is much more sensitive than it was just two years ago. And even then, it was sensitive enough that we can find the Lemba. They descended and separated from Jews around 600BC (same time as Lehi and Mulek), they mixed with a subcontinent of Africa and yet we can find the small founder moment from their (diluted) Jewish line.
Given that the BoM claims that Mulek descended from the Royal Jewish line (king Zedekiah) and founded the largest city (Zarahemla), his alleged DNA is or would be very well known, just as it is with the Lemba. And it is very absent in native Americans.
In the Lemba case, the sensitivity of the DNA tests are so high that they can identify, 2600 years later that the "Buba clan which, in Lemba oral tradition, had a leadership role in bringing the Lemba out of Israel." A single family line among many in a diluted sea of a sub continent...
Ugo's second argument:
2) Genetic drift/dilution means the DNA is lost
Ugo specfically wrote: "the DNA lineages of Lehi’s colony could have been lost due to genetic drift since the number of people involved was probably fairly small compared to the size of the resident Amerindian population."
Dilution is a lame argument for founder events (such as a completely different Y-DNA or mtDNA Haplogroup) entering into another population. The BoM alleges they lived and flourished (multiplied exceedingly, filled the land, etc) over a 1000 years.
Even mormon geneticists have shown evidence that dilution is a weak (pun intended) argument.
In his haplotypic study, Ugo Perego himself contradicts the dilution argument. He writes that there is a
"novel X2 branch...named X2g, and its presence in Native Americans most probably indicates an additional and very rare Native American founder..."
( See http://www.genetree.com/documents/ach... )
The haplogroup X2g, as I understand, is theorized to have entered the lineage through this rare individual founder much more than 10,000 years ago.
Okay, if 10+kya X2g can be found today, I'm sure there's a detectable haplotype from the Davidic line that can be seen from entry into a population 2,600 ya.
In fact, in the book, Genetic Diversity Among Jews by Batsheva Bonn-Temir and Avinoam Adam, Oxford University Press, 1992, chapter 4 is titled Types of Mitochondrial DNA among Jews.
Studies found that mtDNA variability from Jewish women was smaller than among other population (including Caucasian, Asian, Australian,African). Interestingly, they found that Native Amerindians have lower mtDNA heterogeneity values / variability. A lot of work in Jewish mtDNA focuses on Ashkenazic Jews, which have 14 different mtDNA types.
The Matrilineal Ancestry of Ashkenazi Jewry: Portrait of a Recent Founder Event
MtDNA evidence for a genetic bottleneck in the early history of the Ashkenazi Jewish population
For paternal matching (think of recent advances in admixture studies) see:
where they've identified Y-DNA12, Y-DNA37, or Y-DNA67 markers as royalty, going all the way back to David. How fortunate for the Mulek searchers!
If there's not enough here to go on for finding traces of Mulek's lineage among Amerindians, when they can find a single introduction of X2g by a rare founder 10+kya, then the FAIRies better just keep their excuses to themselves.
Finding Mulek should be easier than anything. But he's no where to be found!
| Okay, I'm Late; Lots of Good Stuff... Perego Obviously Has Muddle Stage..
As to the DNA article by Ugo Perego found here https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/no-weapo...:
Nibley's Disease, aka "Apologists' Atrophy."
I actually read the entire article in the wee hours (and sent a heads up e-mail to Simon Southerton inviting him to comment). Unfortunately, even fits of sporadic laughter couldn't keep me awake long enough to compose a coherent reply.
(two minute break while I grab my second cup of industrial strength Folgers)
In the first 40 paragraphs or so we were subjected to a lot of irrelevant "background information" that was a mix of legitimate science information and utter hornswaggle. I'm grateful my close friend Jesus Smith chimed in; his background in molecular biology is much better than mine, as is his knowledge of LDS Lore and Doctrine. He was one of the truly faithful while I never progressed beyond "ward project." I am well-versed in apologists' tactics, however, so we should have a really clear picture of why this bluster is essentially nonsense.
The fall back position for BOM defenders (excluding the Meldrumites, a whole 'nother can of shinola) is the insistence the book makes no statements about others in the New World despite the BOM's claim it was to be "kept from the knowledge from other nations."
From 2nd Nephi 1:8-9
And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.
Perego, however doesn't hesitate to take Lyin' Lehi to the woodshed...
Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves.
Furthermore, it is implausible that ancient record keepers would have had a comprehensive knowledge of all the goings-on of the entire vast landmass of the Americas, considering that the distance from northern Canada to southern Patagonia is about 8,700 miles, a greater distance than that from Portugal to Japan! Despite these many complex factors, since the publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830, Mormons and non-Mormons alike have resorted to speculation in an attempt to fill in the historical and geographical details that are either completely missing or only briefly alluded to in the Book of Mormon text.
Okay, okay, /steve benson voice off... ;-)
The other tactic that exposes Perego's agenda is the claim that one can't discuss the issues understandably without an in-depth knowledge of the Book of Mormon itself. From his conclusion:
An additional caveat is the lack of professional training in population genetics by those promoting a supposed discrepancy between the genetic evidence and the Book of Mormon account. Some of them claim that their conclusions are strongly supported by trained experts who have been consulted for unbiased opinions about this particular matter. This should raise some concerns, though, since it is fairly obvious that most people outside of the circle of Mormonism have very limited knowledge of the Book of Mormon and its contents. As a further counterpoint to the critics' arguments, these experts seem to be in agreement that DNA lineages from a small Old World group migrating to an already heavily populated American continent would disappear. Moreover, it is also noteworthy that what these scientists know about what Latter-day Saints believe has been provided mainly as one-sided background information from the critics themselves.
Simon has made hay out of that "population genticist" nonsense, noting that it is akin to saying that since he's a plant geneticist he isn't qualified to speak to the subject of "forest genetics."
Too, that "limited knowledge of the Book of Mormon and its contents" is just "codespeak" to the faithful. I'll plead guilty to that one (and I've got better things to read than the BOM, thank you), but that doesn't hold true for Southerton, Thomas Murphy, or RFM contributors such as Jesus Smith, Steve Benson, Raptor Jesus, Deconstructor, or dozens of other RFM "regulars." What apologetics do offer are subtle forms of psychological abuse and manipulation via the "moving goal post" tactics identified above as well as "gaslighting" where the claim is that people didn't see or read what they're certain they know or saw.
Finally, in reviewing the DNA claims presented, most of them are "dated" despite the 2011 publication date. This amounts to rehashing where the obvious rule becomes "when in doubt, obfuscate," amd there's a disjointed inconsistency that is utterly unprofessional. There's a reference to early findings of the D4h3 haplogroup (see Brian Kemp and "On Your Knees Cave Man" for that one) which is used to support the claim that there will be "more mysteries" unveiled; in truth Perego used that data--along with findings from the Sorenson Institute--to promote his "two simultaneous migrations" hypothesis (which ignored some D4h3 DNA found in pre-Columbian remains uncovered in Illinois), and I'm troubled that he was able to publish this in peer-reviewed publications when common sense knowledge about the geography of North America is ignored, as was the actual distribution of Haplogroup X2a among the Yakima and Indians living near the Northern Rocky Mountains. And seriously, Ugo, what do Neanderthals have to do with Native Americans?
Worse is that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" clich‚... I've been reviewing Perego's later publications, and he clearly uses "absence of evidence" as springboards for some of his later conclusions. He noted, for example the distribution of Haplogroup B in certain regions, its near absence in areas, and uses that as a basis for inferring ancient migration patterns and history. His tactics are clearly "pick and choose science" where he decides to attribute something to "genetic drift" in some instances (he does so in this article) and elsewhere offers something he believes will be accepted by the scientific palate.
My apologies for resorting to metaphors, but even his work outside LDS apologetics doesn't pass the "smell test" for me (nor does it for "anon for this" above; don't be tossing brickbats at that individual; their information is rock solid).
Within the apologetics crowd (he recently went to work for the Church Education System), the information attributed to him amounts to a hodge-podge of disjointed attempts to impress the faithful and secure their silence with quantities of material rather than quality. I'm tempted to call it the "Coffee Table Book of Apologetics," except Mormons shun coffee...
Hey, there's an Honest Cabdriver Philosophical Question:
What do Mormons call coffee tables? That one's outside of my realm of expertise as well... I mean they don't make Postum anymore, so that one's out...
Reduced to making jokes because this stuff is a joke
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